Jiro Dreams of Sushi
“Once you decide on your occupation… you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success… and is the key to being regarded honorably,” Jiro Ono
Last year you couldn’t scroll down your facebook stream without seeing a promotion for the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, but believe you me, this movie is worth every ounce of promotion. I love a good documentary for putting you in a time, place and issue seamlessly; no nerdy story line to follow, no peirod costumes, just a virtual plane ticket and front row seat to reality. Jiro Dreams of Sushi reminds me most of the book Letters to a Young Chef by Daniel Boulud, a hard-nox-here’s-the-facts-kid about the dedicaiton, passion and diciplin it takes to lead a 3 star Michelin restaurant. Jiro’s story is brimming with a sad beauty. This man grows up alone, lives a shell of a family life, instead chasing perfection in every grain of rice, every sheet of toasted nori, and the daily routine of his restaurant.
Forks over Knives
A lot of us KNOW we should eat better, cut out the crap (I say this as I just polished off three cookies), and many of us love to see the fantastical results of a show like The Biggest Looser, but Forks over Knives starts at a place often ignored: the numbers- BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol levels. Forks over Knives brings healthy eating out of the place we have culturally reserved for those who shop at co-ops with their own bulk containers and shoot wheatgrass instead of espresso into the grasps of everyone hungry (excuse the pun) for knowledge about the foods that will free their body of pain and disease I truly believe this movie saves lives, it isn’t preachy, but eye opening, and I swear it will probably change at least one thing about the way you consume food (those cookies I ate were gluten free).
El Bulli: Cooking in Progress
Before loosing it #1 Restaurant in the World Status to NOMA, before closing it’s doors in 2012, El Bulli pushed conventional dining experience into a transformative space. When we consume food in restaurant, we ooh, and ahh, we say “oh- you have to try this,” but I don’t know how many of us pick apart the process. How did these raw ingredients turn into whisps of smoke or orbs filled with liquid. El Bulli: Cooking in Progress, illustrates the transformation of food from painstaking process of testing the limits of ingredients and how they come together for the final presentation to the diner. This documentary is mostly silent, in that there is very little talking, and wow does it have an effect: the intensity, the pressure is palpable. The business of creating food that literally blows your mind is SERIOUS business!